Thursday, February 9, 2012

Masterpieces of Music: W. A. Mozart, Part 1

When I was studying music in university there was a certain reluctance by many professors to discuss 'masterpieces' as the trends in historical musicology were down-grading the whole idea of 'masterpieces' in favor of other concepts. This is probably why, in eight years of courses, I don't recall spending five minutes discussing, for example, the Beethoven piano sonatas--arguably the greatest single contribution to the repertoire of a solo instrument ever. The only time I can recall covering in any detail a Beethoven symphony was when I was teaching it in a course for non-music majors. So this jaunt through music history seeking out masterpieces is a bit of a rebellion on my part! In moving on to Mozart at this point, I might seem to be neglecting Joseph Haydn, whose contribution was immense. But I have already done a number of posts on Haydn, in particular several on one of his string quartets:

Mozart is one of those remarkable geniuses whose name is known far and wide. He is almost a representative of classical music to the world at large. Here is a fairly long post on Mozart:

Here is a follow-up to that post that talks about Mozart's musical memory:

I hope this will hold you for today. Tomorrow I am going to put up a post going into detail about a most remarkable piece by Mozart, the finale to the Symphony No. 41, the Jupiter.

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